They're big, they're black, and they're not coming back. But when speaking about the Great Inland Glossy cockatoos, that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Northern Inland Senior Project Officer for NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service Adan Fawcett has just come back from a Glossy count in the Pilliga National Park.
He said the numbers counted over two days were down on last year, but that wasn't anything unexpected.
"Normally in dry years, the birds will come together to the watering places," he explained.
"But with the recent rain, they can be getting their water from other sources, so therefore don't have the need to congregate in one place to stay hydrated."
While counts are still coming in, he said they'd so far seen 50 cockies in the Pilliga.
In 2019, went the last count was done, they counted 510 of the black beauties.
"That looks bad, but for context, the last wet year survey before was in 2014, and they counted 277. So it gives us a bit of an idea of the fluctuations between years," Mr Fawett said.
" was a dry year, this is a wet year, so now we can start to pick up trends in data we've got and see which is the best time to survey."
 was a dry year, this is a wet year, so now we can start to pick up trends in data we've got and see which is the best time to survey.Adam Fawcett
He said he was confident the result represented the birds were dispersing more widely across the landscape, not having to travel great distances for a watering place.
"We can refocus on the conditions when we get the best population counts, and then compare like years with like years, wet with wet and dry with dry."
In terms of counters, numbers were strong at 47 people in the lead up, however, slowly petered away to 37 as wet weather put a dampener on people's plans.
About 12 counters bailed in the middle of the weekend as downpours of close to 50mm made people hesitant about sticking around and getting bogged.
Being postponed in November 2020 and rescheduled to the current counts, the trends seen will differ slightly, especially in the numbers of juveniles counted, Mr Fawett said.
The larger project will look at the species' habitats, and will work to encourage people to manage them correctly and grow more of what they like.
It will also examine the threats to nesting.
"There are a whole heap of aspects to this to get a handle on what is happening with the population," Mr Fawcett said.
The project is funded by the NSW Government's Saving Our Species program and the NSW Environmental Trust, and is led by Central West Local Land Services in partnership with NPWS, NSW Forest Corp, Dubbo Field Naturalists, Australian Wildlife Conservancy and the land owners and managers within these areas.